Work in Progress
Carolina Raptor Center, NC - 2017 - Bald Eagle Cam
Cam Link: http://www.wcnc.com/story/weather/camer ... /12792373/
WCNC Eagle Cam News Stories
A new streaming cam replaced the 5-second refresh cam for 2012. No night vision - but when all goes well, currently one of the earliest glimpses of eagle chicks - and at least some of the time, there's sound!
The nest is located at the Carolina Raptor Center, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Derek and Savannah are non-releasable eagles who have been at the Carolina Raptor Center since 1998 (see next post for more details). They became a pair, and she laid her first eggs in 2004. They didn't hatch, but in 2006 two eggs hatched; the eaglets Len and Lola were taken to a hacking tower when they were 6 weeks old and subsequently fledged; they have GPS units and while we haven't seen recent data (tracking units do have a limited life) we know that Len arrived at the St. Lawrence River in Canada five weeks after leaving the hack tower and has migrated back and forth several times, and Lola appears to be nesting near Birmingham, Alabama. They had one egg hatch in 2008, and that chick Letha was also successfully fledged from a hacking tower, but not tracked. No eggs hatched in 2009; they think the unusually cold weather was responsible, and responded by insulating the pair's preferred nestbox (which is on the ground). The pair laid three eggs in 2010; the first egg hatched, was named Noah (and later determined to be female), and successfully fledged; the second hatched but the chick was not strong enough to survive, and the third failed before hatching. Noah was tracked to Virginia, where they lost the signal from her transmitter; transmitters do fail, so we are hoping Noah is doing well. The pair laid two eggs in 2011 and both hatched successfully, but sadly the younger eaglet (who had seemed smaller and weaker) died when he/she was 26 days; a necropsy was conducted but didn't determine a cause of death; the older eaglet, named Kinsey, was moved to a hacking tower with two somewhat older eaglets who had been rescued after their nest collapsed; we think being with older eaglets encouraged Kinsey to "branch" on the perches in the tower at a fairly young age, and she fledged successfully, not long after her older tower-mates. The pair laid two eggs in 2012, one of which hatched, and the eaglet named Carolina successfully fledged from their hacking tower. 2013 was a sad year: the pair laid three eggs, one of which was removed by the adults (perhaps broken), another of which didn't hatch - and the third of which hatched, but the chick was killed by a predator when it was about 4 weeks old (perhaps a raccoon, though the culprit was never found). They installed more levels of protection before the 2014 nesting season, only returning the eagles to their area shortly before they laid their first egg; the pair produced two eggs in 2014, one of which was broken (perhaps because the new perches were closer to the nesting spot than before, or maybe it was non-fertile), and the other of which didn't hatch. The pair laid three eggs for the 2015 nesting season, with the first egg laid December 4th - almost a month earlier than they'd ever laid before; sadly none of the eggs hatched - one broke not long after the hatch window and the other two were removed about 10 days after the last possible hatch date and tests showed they were not viable, perhaps because they did not mate successfully, or because they are getting older.
There are at least five other adult eagles at CRC, and I think most of them share the enclosure with Derek and Savannah, though they know better than to come close to the nest. I've read that there is one other bonded pair - and do wonder if they will eventually also produce fertile eggs.
Based on recent experience, look for eggs in early-mid December, chicks in mid-January, and fledging from a hacking tower in early April.
- cam on: by mid October
- eggs laid: December 10, by 5:23 pm (6 days later than last year, but still about a month earlier than in previous years); December 13, 4:25 pm; seen December 17, 7:21 am (may have been laid overnight - )
- sad news: none of the eggs hatched; they were removed for testing February 1
- amazing news: Savannah and Derek are laying a second clutch! That normally only happens when the first clutch is lost within the first week or maybe two - and here they incubated until the eggs were removed at the end of the hatch window. Natalie Childers Beck, the Curator of Birds and Programs at Carolina Raptor Center, had a theory as to why Savannah and Derek laid infertile eggs much earlier than usual in 2014-15 (and I haven't seen a report on the eggs from this year but the timing and outcome were the same) - she said on January 20 "My personal take is that they might not actually be breeding and are essentially skipping a step in the process. I'm currently working with my staff to come up with the optimum breeding situations for them but it will be a process for sure. We were hoping that by giving them quiet and shutting the aviary down earlier this year, that they would have the opportunity they needed." And perhaps this extra time in the little aviary was what they needed - we did see them doing quite a bit of work on the nest.
- eggs laid: seen February 21, 7:56 am
Savannah incubates the eggs while Derek keeps watch, January 23, 2014, courtesy of IrishEyes
Link to 2016 Nesting Season
Thank you to the Carolina Raptor Center, for making all this possible!